ADD2146 Royal Docks Marketing and Promotional Facility

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Date signed: 
21 August 2017
Decision by: 
Simon Powell, Assistant Director of Strategic Projects and Property

Executive summary

This decision requests approval for Royal Docks Enterprise Zone (EZ) revenue expenditure on feasibility work to be undertaken by New London Architecture (NLA)/Pipers to scope out options for establishing a marketing and promotional facility for the EZ. It is envisioned that this will be a physical space in the Royal Docks that showcases the area’s regeneration and development, creating a centre for discussion, debate and cultural exploration to help inform its future. 

This project will support the initial phases of development in the EZ and increase the promotion of, and investment into, the EZ. It is intended that the scoping work will lead to a proposal that will be delivered utilising the capacity of the new EZ Delivery Team. 


That the Assistant Director of Strategic Projects and Property approves:

1.    Up to £20,000 revenue expenditure for New London Architecture/Pipers to undertake a feasibility study for a promotional and marketing space in the EZ.

2.    Agrees to an exemption from the GLA Contracts and Funding Code under section 10.1 to appoint without a competitive tendering exercise due to the previous involvement of New London Architecture in the specific current project.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    The next two years are critical in the 25-year lifetime of the Royal Docks Enterprise Zone (EZ), and it is important that there is visible change in the EZ to developers, investors, businesses and visitors to the area. The key development partners in the EZ have identified the activation of their sites and the surrounding area as one of the highest priority short term actions required to catalyse investment and occupation. 

1.2    At the inaugural London Economic Action Partnership meeting in February 2017, it was agreed that a portion of the EZ funding collected to date will be used to fund an early programme of work and the resource required to undertake project delivery. An EZ Delivery Team has been created as a result of this agreement as set out in MD2049 (see Appendix 1). The new EZ Delivery Team will be located in the EZ and operational from September 2017.

1.3    The EZ Delivery Team approached New London Architecture (NLA)/Pipers regarding a potential collaboration to showcase the Royals Docks in the context of the story of the ‘City in the East’ which the NLA have previously showcased in their exhibition centre in Store Street, London. The City in the East has long been identified as having significant growth potential for London. The GLA has significant land ownership and development plans underway in the Royal Docks and EZ, and there is major infrastructure investment in train.

1.4    NLA/Pipers proposes to undertake a scoping exercise to establish the core options for a promotional centre on behalf of the EZ Delivery Team. Core elements to be considered include location options, space requirements, core staffing and upfront capital investment costs for a marketing and promotional facility (the “City in the East Centre”). 

1.5    The scoping work will be delivered primarily through a combination of interviews with local stakeholders, key development partners and desk research, to establish ambitions, timescales and objectives of key stakeholders.

1.6    The principal output of the exercise will be a series of options for consideration which, once reviewed and consulted on, the EZ Delivery Team can use to form the basis of a business plan and proposition for a future City in the East Centre.

1.7    A provisional timetable of four months is proposed to undertake the project in full, and the scoping exercise would be delivered by end of October 2017.

1.8    The EZ Programme Board approved the spend of up to £20,000 at the meeting on May 17th 2017 on the feasibility work to be undertaken by NLA. Refer to section 10 of the minutes included at Appendix 2.

1.9    This approval incorporates an approval for a Single Source Justification (Appendix 3) agreeing the appointment of Pipers Projects and the NLA on the basis of their specific expertise in the proposed work that will take account of the strategic ‘City in the East’ research and previous exhibitions.  As such, grounds exist to support an exemption as further outlined in the Single Source Justification due to ‘previous involvement in a specific current project’ (see paragraph 10.1 of the GLA Contracts and Funding Code (the “Code”)).

1.10    The GLA will ensure that the NLA/Pipers commission provides value for money by obtaining a detailed cost breakdown for the scoping study and comparing to previous scoping and feasibility study exercises that the GLA have commissioned.

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1    The objectives of the commission(s) are to:

2.2    Undertake a scoping study to determine options for the creation of a centre, that through a creative programme of exhibitions, events, complementary uses and cultural programming, tells the story of the evolution of East London and the Royal Docks. 

2.3    Increase footfall and visitor numbers to the Royal Docks and change perceptions of this part of London.

2.4    Build and sustain relationships with key stakeholders including local communities, and influence thinking around the future of the Royal Docks to ensure its long-term transformation into an integrated, healthy, prosperous, connected and lively part of the city.

2.5    The early activity set out in this ADD supports the Mayor’s priorities to deliver the EZ whilst strengthening London’s position as a world city of innovation, business and culture, and will increase sustainable investment in London’s eastern growth area.

Equality comments

3.1    The New London Architecture/Pipers projects seeks to reach out to a wide and diverse audience to engage Londoners in the built environment that surrounds them. The project will engage with the borough’s residents, including school groups and community forums to ensure this wide coverage, to deliver on the LBN’s Convergence objectives. Equalities considerations will be taken into account by the GLA in connection with all work procured.


Other considerations

4.1    The key risk that could impact on the project is limited buy in from key stakeholders, which would lead to limited scoping. This will be mitigated by stakeholder engagement and interviews with key development partners. An early presentation has also been made to the Royal Docks Advisory Board. 

4.2    The overall objective of this approval is to accelerate and maximise the regeneration of the EZ. A strong promotional vision is essential for the Royal Docks to accelerate development and communicate the wider opportunity of the EZ beyond each individual development site. 

4.3    It is not considered that any further impact assessment is required for this specific decision.

4.4    Officers in the Strategic Projects and Property and at the London Borough of Newham have been consulted in the development of the project specifications and outputs. 

Financial comments

5.1    This decision requests approval to expend up-to £20,000 for New London Architecture/Pipers to undertake promotional and investment scoping work in the Royal Docks to advance the marketing of the EZ. 

5.2    The expenditure is available from the Royal Docks Enterprise Zone Projects Delivery budget within Housing & Land department and will be fully expended in 2017/18 financial year. 

Planned delivery approach and next steps



Initial scoping and interview preparation

August 2017

Interviews and research

August 2017

Draft report structure and executive summary

September 2017

Final report issued

October 2017


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